• the 2020 chevrolet corvette performed a 2.8-second zero-to-60-mph run in c/d testing.
• equally impressive: it covered the quarter-mile in just 11.2 seconds at 122 mph.
• the corvette manages these extraordinary feats despite being nearly 200 pounds heavier than the previous-generation c7 z51.
after 50 years of speculation, one of the most anticipated cars in car and driver history is finally here, and it's truly a marvel. during our first rides in camouflaged prototype mules, we were hugely impressed with the performance of the c8's new dual-clutch transmission and its ability to deliver imperceptibly fast shifts. now that we've been able to conduct our standard battery of performance tests, the results—especially for a car that starts under $60,000—are jaw-dropping. our test car was equipped with the optional z51 performance package and magnetic ride control suspension.
after a quick burnout to heat the tires and scrub them of any debris, the launch control system aids the vette on its way to a scorchingly quick run to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, hammering through the quarter-mile mark with an elapsed time of 11.2 seconds at 122 mph. the acceleration was relatively drama-free in terms of traction management, with a slight amount of wheelslip as the power was put down. having dedicated launch control via the dual-clutch transmission means that these blistering acceleration runs are consistent and repeatable.
when comparing the performance numbers of our most recently tested front-engine c7 z51 to its mid-engine sibling, the improvements are undeniable. the c7 not only hits 60 mph just over one second slower at 3.9 seconds, but it also passes through the quarter mile with the same gap, at 12.3 seconds with a trap speed of 115 mph.
the c8's acceleration performance places it squarely in contention with much pricier and, in most cases, more powerful contenders such as the nissan gtr, the porsche 911, the mclaren 570, the audi r8, and the mercedes-amg gt. most of the improvement over the previous model can be attributed to enhanced load transfer from the newly relocated engine and a well-calibrated launch-control system: the c8 gets off the line much quicker and carries its 1.1-second advantage through the quarter-mile.
that a c8 stingray z51 is nearly able to eclipse the performance of every corvette before it is no small feat. we are anxious to see what gm has in store for the z06 and grand sport variants. america has found its supercar fighter for the masses, the robin hood of horsepower.